New anti-smoking campaign adopts shock tactics

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: (Published 28 December 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e8697
  1. Gareth Iacobucci
  1. 1BMJ

A hard hitting new government campaign warning about the “hidden dangers” of smoking may not be effective in targeting all smokers and should be used alongside other measures, say public health experts.

The campaign, launched this week by the Department of Health, includes a new TV advert featuring a tumour growing on a cigarette as it is smoked, which is designed to make the invisible damage caused by cigarettes visible. The government estimates that around 365 000 people will attempt to quit as a result of the campaign.

But public health experts said the shock tactics will benefit some more than others and called for other initiatives, such as standardised packaging of tobacco products and funding for smoking cessation schemes.

John Middleton, vice president of the Faculty of Public Health, said: “FPH welcomes this focus on the dangers of smoking as part of a broader strategy that it believes should …

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